English translation of Shenoute’s “On those who have left the monastery” by Anthony Alcock

This afternoon brings another gem from Anthony Alcock: a translation from Coptic of Shenoute’s De eis qui e monasterio discesserunt, his attack on monks who have abandoned their monastery.  He explains:

The text translated here makes it clear that some of those who have left blamed Shenoute for his ill-treament, but others simply did not the strength to remain there.

Shenoute himself is a very famous figure in 4th century Egyptian monasticism, and his works have been edited recently (offline!) by Stephen Emmel.  He was notorious for using a stick to discipline his monks; and also using them as stormtroopers to demolish pagan temples.

Here is the text, with a learned introduction as ever:

It is very nice to have this material online in English.  Shenoute lived at a critical junction between the Roman and Byzantine world, and his works give a clear insight into the period of change.



2 thoughts on “English translation of Shenoute’s “On those who have left the monastery” by Anthony Alcock

  1. hello rodger, I was just wondering why stobaeus didn’t mention christian writers? He lived in the 5th century, so why did he not say anything about Origen, Justin martyr etc… no christian martyrs were given notice in the Anthology of Stobaeus. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  2. Have a read of what Photius says about the work in cod. 167:

    I don’t know but my guess would be that the text was a teaching guide to classical literature. The Byzantine education system remained entirely classical right up to 1453. This is why we have a lot of plays etc, used in the school curriculum. Stobaeus was perhaps producing a tool to allow his son to get a classical education.

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